Is Fallon the Xer Who Will Millennialize Late Night?

Jimmy Fallon is not a Millennial. At 36-years-old, he is firmly in the camp of the Gen Xer—but you wouldn’t be blamed for mistaking him for a member of the more optimistic, less-cynical generation when watching his takeover of The Tonight Show since last MondayAfter years of Leno and Letterman’s wry, sarcastic take on pop culture dominating late night, Fallon’s approach is unapologetically positive and inclusive. Fallon could be the first late night host to appeal to the Millennial audience. Ratings for the show actually improved over the course of last week for viewers between 18 and 49 (the “money category” for late night shows) delivering a number that was the best viewer score for that demo on a Wednesday night for the show in 10 years. Nothing about the long-term future of his audience can be determined yet, but he’s already in a better position that most to lure Millennials to late night TV. Many grew up watching him on SNL, but that’s just one advantage—his personality and approach to comedy make him more Millennial-friendly than any other host. Here are just some of the reasons that Fallon may be the Xer who will Millennialize late night:
 
1. They’re actually excited for him.
Throughout last week, one of the biggest differences between Jimmy Fallon and his predecessor became clear: Millennials are actually excited for Fallon, and they’re celebrating his show. His premiere resulted in a slew of blogosphere output chronicling and complimenting the moments of the first show, like “The 35 Best Moments From Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ Debut” GIF gallery posted on Buzzfeed. UPROXX’s effusive posting on the celebrity cameo skit of the premiere might have put the reaction best: ”You might say the cameo-heavy segment was just like the thing Jay Leno tried to do, except…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "GoPro does a great job appealing to my generation because they convince regular people that they are adventurous, like many college kids like to think of themselves." –Male, 22, MD

Facebook continues to evolve to keep up with social platform competitors attracting younger users. The site has announced changes to their standalone chat app Messenger that will transform it into a platform that third parties can develop content and services for, including games, hotel bookings, tickets, and peer-to-peer payments. The new Businesses on Messenger feature would allow users to chat with brands to make purchases and change orders, and could make shopping a more personal experience. Facebook will also be adding the ability to chat with memes and GIFs, features that have proved popular with young consumers on other chat apps. (re/code,Fast Company)

Millennials are wary of investments, and generally anxious about their finances, and some have turned to new services that let them take baby steps into the financial world. More traditional institutions have certainly taken notice. Northwestern Mutual recently acquired LearnVest, a startup that offers free and paid financial planning services including articles, advice, and access to an expert for guidance on spending and budgets. The purchase is the latest in a trend of financial tech companies being snapped up by older, less digitally savvy brands. (FortuneBusiness Insider)

While many startups and sites are working to combat cyberbullying, one app is receiving an enormous amount of backlash for fostering the behavior in high schools. Burnbook allows users to join communities, usually around a school, remain anonymous, and post on topics of their choice. Although the app encourages “jokes, fails, wins, shout outs, revelations, proclamations, and confessions,” posts have been used to target specific people and groups, and threats have been made to at least one school. Some parents and teens are trying to use the app to spread positivity, but those posts don’t seem to outweigh the “gruesome things.” (Mashable)

Toys “R” Us will begin to sell an experience alongside its products with the hope of regaining their footing in the toy industry. Discount options like Wal-Mart and Amazon have hurt the chain’s sales over the past few years, so new plans to revamp stores will add physical play areas and more technology for kids to interact with. The retailer wants to be a place “where kids want to go and play,” and their new prototype store will open later this year. (Bloomberg)

For better or for worse, technology is becoming an intrinsic part of childhood, but boys and girls might not be growing up with the same tech experiences. A new study of parents of kids ages two to nine found that in many cases, parents give their children different devices depending on their gender. Sons were more likely to be given smartphones or gaming devices while daughters received more tablets (73% vs. 65% for boys). Parents were also more likely to use tech to calm down sons, with 48% using a device to help soothe boys when they are upset, compared to 37% for girls. (Kidscreen)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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